Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Student Columnist gets Social Security Issue Right

It takes a student publication to sometimes give us the alternative perspective not found in big, mainstream media.

UMKC's weekly student news publication, UNEWS has done what other publication in town dare not do: talk bad about social security.

Andrew Palmer, a frequent contributing columnist to UNEWS, smacks social security and government welfare upside the head in this week's column.

Kudos to Palmer the UNEWS brass for the having the gonads to go against the popular sentiments often printed about social security.


Blogger designguy35 said...

"Student Columnist gets Social Security Issue Right"

Gets it right? I politely, but strenuously disagree.

Spouting a bunch of his pre-concieved political notions is giving an alternate perspective?

If you make a statement like, "First let us get something correct. Liberals don't like to acknowledge the fact that Social Security is welfare", back it up with proof.
What liberal said this?
Why do you consider this statement to be fact?
If you have no proof or reasoning, then all you are doing is just shooting your mouth off.

And, for all of his preaching on how safe and reliable the stock market is, ask a former employee of Enron how he made out on his 401K.

Author Andrew Palmer then continues by then saying that the AARP and "those on the left" are accusing the President of trying to "starve the elderly to death". Again, who said this? What proof do you have making this statement?

The AARP (which by the way is not a "left" or liberal group, but a non-partisan association) is running ads that only states that the AARP's position is that Social Security needs some adjustments to ensure it's long term existance, but does not need to be dismantled, as they believe the President's plan will.

Finally he says, "The only current Social Security bill written is moderate at best."
Do you consider borrowing ANOTHER $750 BILLION to create private accounts as "moderate"?
Here's a quote from a February 17 New York Times article written by Edmund L. Andrews:

"Meanwhile, readers of today’s New York Times get a completely different, third figure, courtesy of Edmund Andrews:

"White House officials have estimated that Mr. Bush's plan would require borrowing about $754 billion over the next decade. That figure, however, reflects Mr. Bush's strategy of delaying introduction of the accounts until 2009 and to phase them in over a number of years, a step he has said was intended in part to hold down the costs.

Vice President Dick Cheney has acknowledged that the costs would be in the trillions of dollars in subsequent decades once the program is fully up and running, and some outside experts estimate that total borrowing could exceed $4 trillion over the next several decades."

Seems to me since this administration has already put this country in catastrophic debt and weakened the dollar, maybe we ought to think of ways to shrink the debt, not make it bigger...

This forum pieces (since it is definitely not a researched article) falls considerably short of "getting it right".

9:55 PM

Anonymous Beckles said...

Borrow $750 billion to create personal accounts? No money would be borrowed to create personal accounts, the money is being contributed for social security, all personal accounts would do is take that money that's already being contributed and actually earmark it for specific individuals ... the real problem for some folks with this plan is that other government programs are borrowing that money now and personal accounts would mean the money wouldn't be available for other programs to borrow as it is now.

8:11 AM

Blogger designguy35 said...

Well... I have have given a direct quote from the New York Times (which quotes our VICE PRESIDENT) saying that the President's Social Security scheme could end up BORROWING over $4 Trillion in the next few decades.

Do have any source to back up your claim?

You also seem to be contradicting yourself. You say that the money won't be borrowed... then you say it will be borrowed - just from somewhere else. But, if what you say is correct, what programs will be slashed so the private accounts can be funded adequately?

Of course, that's also another problem of this Social Security reform - too many unknowns and vague guesses from the administration.

1:08 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually beckles, in order to create the private accounts, the government will have to borrow the money from private banks, because the money that is being paid in to the soc sec trust fund is being used to pay out current benefits.

this column is pretty poor. the facts are all wrong, and yes, it is based on a preconcieved political notion. worst of all, it is very poorly written. the author of the column is obviously biased to the right, quite a bit.

if you do just the slightest bit of research, you will find that social security is not the problem that it is made out to be. the only problem with social security has been misuse of the social security trust funds surplus. the congressional budget office found, that with minor adjustments in the federal budget, social security could be made to be solvent for the next 100 years. the cbo noted that this would cost less than the war in iraq or the bush tax cuts.

personally, i would prefer to keep the government out of my retirement plans altogether, but there has to be something in place to protect people who cannot afford to retire due to economic hardship.

11:41 PM

Anonymous Beckles said...

The whole idea of "borrowing" money is being created by the Democrats and is just a matter of what you believe the money should be used for to begin with. 12.4 percent of what I earn gets contributed to Social Security, 6.2 percent by me which is matched by my employer and does not show up on my pay check.

You say that to create a personal account for myself Bush is going to have to "borrow" money, I say BS, what's really happening is the money I'm putting in already is just not being borrowed by someone else. It's part of the entire fallacy that's been foisted upon many Americans that Social Security is some kind of savings program when in fact it's nothing more than a tax to pay for massive welfare programs.

Note that of that 12.4 percent that is contributed for me, Bush's plan would set aside 4 percent of the 12.4 percent (less than 1/3), up to a whopping $1,000 per year, in a personal account. So, take someone who's earning $50,000/year ... they have contributions made to Social Security of $6,200 each year, yet they'd still only set aside $1,000 per year in a personal account leaving plenty for other programs to "borrow" still.

I don't know why I'd need to back up the claim that the money shouldn't need to be borrowed to fund personal accounts ... I understand where the claim comes from the money will have to be borrowed, but it's ridiculous if you ask me to say we have to borrow the money to pay for the accounts, what we need to borrow the money for is to pay for the programs that are "borrowing" the money from Social Security already.

9:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

beckles, you obviously don't know much about bush's proposal. even he admits that the gov will have to borrow money to cover the costs of transition from the current system to his proposed system. he also admits that the cost of borrowing these funds will offset any savings for the federal government, but argues that over the long, long run, his plan will make social security more solvent, stable, and less expensive.

note that in this fox news article that vp dick cheney says we will have to borrow $758 billiion over the next 10 years.

10:00 AM

Anonymous Beckles said...

They will have to borrow the money, but they're not borrowing it to create the personal accounts, they're borrowing it to pay benefits to those who are already receiving them. The money for the personal accounts is there, it's contributed every year.

Back to my example of someone making $50,000 per year ... they give Social Security $6,200/year ... $1,000 of that would go in a personal account to start with, why do we need to borrow $1,000 for that? We don't ... except for the little problem that we need that $1,000 to pay someone else's benefit because the money the person receiving benefits paid is gone already (assuming they ever paid into the system to begin with!).

The problem is that the Social Security system needs to dig itself out of the hole that has always been there since the program started, in the beginning they started paying Social Security, but the balance was zero to start with, at some point the switch needs to be made to a system where the money that is contributed by a person is used to pay their benefits, not the money contributed by someone after them once they are retired. The longer that switch is put off, the more it's going to cost to make that switch ... wait 20 more years and it's going to cost a lot more than $750 million over 10 years to start with (and I'm not just talking about inflationary adjustments)!

Heck, I'd be happy if they just scrapped the whole idiotic program, like I said the government has for years perpetuated the belief that your "Social Security" deduction from your paycheck is for your retirement ... it's not, it's a tax to pay for those who are already receiving benefits, and how many Americans even realize that what they see on their paycheck as the "Social Security contribution" is half of what actually gets contributed since their employer matches it? Social Security is nothing more than a tax masquerading as a retirement plan as it is now, this current system is ridiculous and totally misleading.

10:23 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

the money is being borrowed to create the personal accounts, because without the loans, the government will not be able to divert those funds to the personal accounts, or, will not be able to pay out current benefits, as you have said. there is little difference, the gov is still borrowing money in order to create the private accounts.

i agree with you that the program is idiotic. 6.2% of my income invested how i see fit would leave me with quite a comfortable retirement, but left in the government's hands, who knows what'll happen to me. however, i still think there needs to be some sort of security for people who, through no fault of their own, are not able to support themselves when they reach retirement.

11:58 AM


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